The iOS App Store is filled with free fitness apps promising to give the perfect, science-backed workout. A recent investigation suggests, however, that most of those apps don't meet the guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine. Here are the ones that come the closest.
You've probably heard of the 7-Minute Scientific Workout. It's a workout routine based on research from the American College of Sports Medicine, and it's designed to hit three major components for maintaining better fitness health: aerobics, strength and resistance training, and flexibility. Hundreds upon hundreds of free — usually ad-supported — apps in the App Store claim to provide this, but a recent investigative study from the University of Florida says otherwise. The study, led by Francois Modave, Ph.D., and Jiang Bian, Ph.D., suggests that very few of these apps come anywhere close to meeting the actual ACSM guidelines; with only one app scoring somewhat decently. Here are the top three:
- Sworkit Lite Personal Trainer: The top scorer in all categories, and considered to be the best in the bunch. Also available on Android.
- The 7 Minute Workout-Get fit: Provides aerobic and resistance workouts, but very little flexibility. No fitness program elements or progression.
- StrongLifts 5x5: Provides fitness program progression, but mainly focuses on strength training only. Also available on Android.
Despite these findings, what's most important is getting some form of activity at all. No matter what, some exercise is better than no exercise, so do whatever will keep you at it. Still, you might as well go with what's going to give you the most bang for your free download. You can read the study and learn more at the link below.